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Greece and the economic crisis 2017

NEWS ARCHIVE - May 25 - May 31

May 31, 2017

Greece bids farewell to former leader Mitsotakis, early advocate of austerity - reuters

"...A nephew of liberal statesman Eleftherios Venizelos, Mitsotakis fought in Cretan resistance against the German occupation and was first elected to parliament in 1946 at the age of 28.

Barring the years he lived in exile in Paris during Greece's seven-year dictatorship, he held several ministerial posts and eventually become leader of conservative New Democracy in 1984."

Mourners pay respects to late PM Mitsotakis - ABC News

"Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, and Greece's 76-year-old former king, Constantine, were among mourners filing past his coffin at Athens Cathedral on the eve of his funeral on the island of Crete."

Why Greece Needs 'Greleasing' From Its Taxing Debt Obligations & Europe Rebooting - Forbes

"The upcoming meeting is aimed at deciding whether Greece has undertaken sufficient measures to be in a position to receive a €7.5bn (c.$8.3bn/£6.4bn) loan plus debt relief. It is crucial for the country to avoid defaulting on a debt repayment, which is due this July.

But in order to gain the funds, Greece has had to initiate a series of economic reforms. Towards that goal, in early May the Greek parliament approved a new package of austerity measures. These included tax rises and additional cuts to pensions due to be implemented in 2019-20. Tsakalotos said the government had done its part of what it promised.”

Greece denies report it may opt out of receiving more bailout money - NY Daily News

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in separate phone calls on Monday that Greece needed a "clear solution on debt", a government official said. Tsipras also discussed the issue with EU Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday, the official added.

To convince the IMF to participate financially in Greece's program, as sought by Germany, Athens passed legislation this month on additional pension cuts and tax hikes, which will be implemented after its bailout expires in 2018, as demanded by the IMF.

The Washington-based fund says Greece needs further debt relief.

Greece Seeks to Lure U.K.-Based Shipowners, Brokers on Brexit - Bloomberg

"The Greek government wants to persuade shipowners and shipping-insurance companies based in London to move their European Union headquarters to Greece as the U.K. prepares to exit the bloc.

...Greece is the world’s largest ship-owning nation, accounting for over 16 percent of the global merchant fleet ahead of Japan and China, according to the United Nations. Greek-owned vessels account for 22 percent of the world fleet and 50 percent of the EU’s maritime carrying capacity, Kouroumblis said."

TODAY visits the ‘blue zone’ of Greece where people live to 100 - MSN

Video Report:

"Launching “Eating to 100 TODAY,” a series about the secrets of a long and healthy life, NBC News special anchor Maria Shriver visits a remote Greek island that is one of the five “blue zones” on Earth with the highest percentage of people living healthy lives to age 100. She shares their diet secrets, which include greens and whole grains in lieu of carbohydrates."

Teachers threaten to block school appointments - ekathimerini

"Members of the union aim to boycott the process of appointing new principals to Greek primary schools, which is expected to start in the coming weeks. “The government is taking the first step in implementing its commitments based on the fourth memorandum,” the union said in a statement. It also slammed the coalition for reneging on pledges to reverse an evaluation scheme for civil servants undertaken by a series of previous governments at the behest of creditors."

May 30, 2017

Euro skids on Greece and Italy uncertainties - UK Telegraph

"A report in the German newspaper, the Bild, suggested that Greece might forego its next bailout payment if creditors cannot strike a relief deal is weighing heavily on the euro this morning.

Meanwhile, uncertainties about the Italian election have also pulled the single currency lower. At the weekend, former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi suggested that Italy's next election should be held at the same time as Germany's, saying it made sense from "a European perspective".

Greece denies report it may opt out of receiving more bailout money - Reuters

"The country has about 7 billion euros of debt maturing in July, a sum it will not be able to repay unless it gets a new tranche of creditors' money out of its current bailout worth up to 86 billion euros, the third aid programme since the crisis began."

May 29, 2017

Greece Calls for Debt Relief Deal in June, Says Lenders Have No Excuses - usnews.com

"...Greece's creditors need to reach a deal on debt relief measures at the next meeting of euro zone finance ministers in June to help the country return to bond markets, its finance minister said on Monday.

Euro zone finance ministers failed to agree with the International Monetary Fund last week on Greek debt relief as well as failing to release new loans to Athens. They did however come close enough to aim to do both at their June meeting."

Constantine Mitsotakis, Former Prime Minister of Greece, Dies at 98 - NYT

"Constantine Mitsotakis, a former conservative prime minister who engaged in fierce confrontations with Greece’s liberal and socialist parties and tried to loosen state control of the economy in a 60-year political career, died on Monday. He was 98.

... in 1965, he led a group of dissidents in abandoning George Papandreou’s liberal Center Union government after it had clashed with King Constantine II over control of the military. Most liberal critics never forgave Mr. Mitsotakis for that decision. Even now the group’s action is referred to in Greece as the “apostasy.”

4 days of mourning for former PM Mitsotakis - Newsok

"Mitsotakis was arrested along with other politicians at the start of the seven-year military dictatorship. He later lived in exile in Paris until shortly before the junta collapsed in 1974.

In 1977, Mitsotakis re-entered Parliament at the head of the small Neoliberal Party and, the following year, joined the governing New Democracy party, serving first as finance minister and later as foreign minister. He became the party's leader in 1984 while the conservatives were in opposition."

to be Ambassador to Greece? - Greek Reporter

"Numerous reports are pointing towards a shuffle of senior staff at the White House, among the reported changes is current Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to be possibly named as ambassador to Greece. The whirlwind of reports come as a diversion after news of ties between Donald Trump’s campaign associates and Russia."

Mirage jet crash revives fleet fears - eKathimerini

"Monday’s crash is the latest in a string of such incidents that have revived fears about the reliability of Greece’s military aircraft. Just over a month ago, four officers were killed when a Huey helicopter crashed."

Draghi: ECB waiting for measures that will make Greek debt sustainable long-term - Athens News Agency

Responding to a question by independent MEP Notis Marias on the bank’s quantitative easing program, Draghi said that “if and when” the program is extended to Greece, some Greek businesses could be included in the company bond buying program, if they fulfill the relevant criteria.

In his reply to European Parliament Vice-President and SYRIZA MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis, he noted that the EU member-states and the IMF "were at the point where the two sides must reach an agreement," and that this was "the only thing needed at this time." He warned, however, that the extension of quantitative easing to Greece should not be considered a given and that the ECB will have to carry out its own independent assessment based on adverse scenarios, which would be fully independent of the debt sustainability reports of the both the IMF and the European Commission.

May 27, 2017

Turkey, Greece in a war of words over Cyprus - In Cyprus

“Yet again, Ankara, in order to serve its geopolitical interests, and Mr. Akinci, lead the negotiating process to a dead end, due to supposed disputes over methodology, because they are unwilling to discuss the core of the Cyprus problem, which are guarantees and security,” [Greek Foreign Ministry, Stratos Efthimiou] added.

“These are matters which are closely connected to the nature of the Cyprus problem, which is by definition a problem of illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus by the Turkish military,”he said.

UN envoy in Athens after conference hopes dashed - eKathimerini

"The meeting comes on the heels of the Norwegian diplomat’s announcement on Friday that he was ending his shuttle diplomacy between rival ethnic leaders in the bid to continue peace talks in Geneva, because they had failed to agree on the conditions. "

Toskas: Democracy is always strict with vigilantes - AMNA.gr

"...it was confirmed that the booby trapped envelope had undergone security screening at the parliament and the sender has been identified. Asked if there was a security gap, the minister replied: "We will fill any (security) gaps that may have existed." "The government and the police are working systematically to bring to justice the perpetrators of the terrorist attack," Toskas underlined.

Pre-planning for Israel-Cyprus-Greece electric connection almost complete - in-cyprus

"The electric conductor connecting Cyprus to Israel, Greece, and from there Europe, named the EuroAsia Interconnector, is at the final pre-planning stage which is 50% EU-funded.

The European Union has approved co-funding of €14 million from the total €29 million which is the estimated cost of the pre-planning surveys. The surveys are a series of studies which begin in June 2017 and are estimated for completion in 2020."

May 26, 2017

Greece on track to reach a deal with creditors within 3 weeks, IMF official says - CNBC

"The biggest guarantee that Greece and its creditors will finally reach an agreement on its debt burden is the upcoming payment deadlines that will force through a deal, an IMF official has told CNBC.

Though the IMF official is confident of an agreement on debt, they doubt that Greece will stop being an economic headache for the euro zone.

"Let's be honest, it will take 20 years to fix Greece," they said."

The remains of 17 Greek soldiers killed in Cyprus finally return to Greece - Protothema

"They are the sailors of the “Phaethon” torpedo boat that was sunk by Turkish aircrafts in 1964 and the commandos of the “Noratlas” transport aircraft that was shot down in 1974 in Nicosia. There are also the remains of other soldiers that lost their lives defending Cyprus in the various battles against the Turkish invading forces.

...President Anastasiades expressed his deep gratitude and the undying love of Cyprus to the heroes and their relatives, stressing that their sacrifice gives us the right today to continue the struggle for the end of the Turkish occupation of the island."

Petropoulos: decrease of pensioners with pension below 500 euros - Imerisia

"...Petropoulos provided an example of farmers, saying that "the 87 euro premium paid each month by 90% of farmers, medical care and pension much greater than that enjoyed, because the farmer did not take retirement over € 450 ' .

He added, "it can reach or even exceed EUR 2,000, always depending on the contributions paid." He said, "I brought an example farmers, because it was a part of the population completely sidelined, without the same security rights of other Greeks..."

Petropoulos: "Recently viewed reports that 1.2 million pensioners receive a pension of less than 500 euros or at this amount.... "

Lucas Papademos of Greece Is Hurt When Bomb Explodes in His Car - NYT

"It was not clear whether the bomb had any connection to a cluster of parcel bombs this year. In March, parcel bombs were sent from Greece to the offices of the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and to the International Monetary Fund’s offices in Paris, and eight similar bombs were intercepted by Greek counterterrorism officers. The bomb sent to Paris went off, injuring a worker; the others did not.

A Greek guerrilla group called the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire claimed responsibility for the bomb sent to Mr. Schäuble."

May 25, 2017

IMF: Differences narrowing with Europe over Greece debt relief - Business Recorder

"Everyone is optimistic that agreement can be reached and hopefully can be reached at the next Eurogroup meeting" in mid-June, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice.

However, disagreements remain over Europe's forecasts for growth and budget surpluses in Greece after 2022, and the fund is "looking for more realism in the assumptions," Rice told reporters.

Tax hikes have failed to pay off - eKathimerini

"The recent hikes in indirect taxes have not fetched the desired results, leading instead to a 247-million-euro shortfall in state revenues, according to figures issued on Wednesday by the State General Accounting Office.

...Of course this won’t appease the Finance Ministry as there is no sign in the data collected that the lag in revenues is coincidental or temporary. Ministry officials believe the gap will again be covered in the latter half of the year when income tax payments start (the first installment is due by end-July) followed by the Single Property Tax (ENFIA)."

President Pavlopoulos: Partners should deliver on their promises - AMNA

"The Greek President underlined that Greece has the right to ask its partners to deliver on their promises since Greece has already met its commitments. He added that following the conclusion of the programme review, there is only one aim: growth."

Study: Earthquakes Threaten 8 in 10 Greeks - Greek Reporter

"Eight in ten Greeks are potential victims of earthquake tremors, while Greece ranks tenth to be potentially hit by a tsunami, a study says.

The study is conducted by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and is called Atlas of the Human Planet 2017. According to the study, 80 percent of the Greek population are at risk of being earthquake victims."

Prime minister to plug Greece’s role at NATO summit - eKathimerini

"The summit will also have added value in terms of interest due to the attendance of US President Donald Trump and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

Apart from meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Tsipras’s aides said he will most likely hold brief meetings on the sidelines of the summit with both the French and American leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and, possibly, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well."

Traveling to Greece? Give Athens a chance - Intrepidtravel

"Take it from me. I lived in the city for six months, and found it to be non-stop fun. Not only are there a plethora of ruins (it was the heart of Ancient Greece, after all) but the youthful buzz, the insane nightlife, and delicious eats means it really has a ton going for it. So, before you spend one solitary day here before venturing out to the gorgeous Greek islands, take a second to consider whether you can really visit all these hotspots in just a quick visit. (Short answer: no.)

Athens is home to the most breathtaking ruin – the thing everyone comes to (rightly) see and photograph – the Parthenon. The former temple, which dominates the hilltop Acropolis, is magnificent. Dedicated to the goddess Athena, you really have to pay a visit to see why it’s considered one of the greatest cultural monuments in the world. You could spend hours here just wandering around and soaking up the history."

The Stunning Blue Caves of Zakynthos Island- Popsugar

"You can take a dip into the clear blue waters surrounding Zakynthos Island in Greece where you'll find the famous Blue Caves.

The arches formed thousands of years ago through erosion. Their geological formations are noteworthy alone, but the name comes from the hue of the sea that reflects onto the cave walls. The largest cave, Kianoun, can be visited by boat, and many of the boats are available to tourists for rent. You can swim around the caves yourself, but exploring the formations that continue underwater should be limited to experienced swimmers and divers."




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